Chainsaws were a form of rotating weapon predominantly seen in earlier series of Robot Wars. Matilda was the first robot to be equipped with this weapon when she debuted in Series 1 along with the other original House Robots, while the first competitors to use chainsaws were Napalm, Leighviathan, Inquisitor and Spin Doctor, all in Series 2. The last for years - and most successful - was US Season 2 Grand Finalist and Tag Team Terror co-champion Rocky-Bot-Boa, although it used its pushing power as its main means of offense throughout its appearances. In Series 9-10, Coyote surprised many by using a chainsaw as a tail weapon, although it was susceptible to damage and was rarely used in combat.

Chainsaws were a mainstay of early robot combat, starting with the US Robot Wars events that predated the TV series. Indeed, when Marc Thorpe made his invitations to competitors for the inaugural event in 1994, he provided a photo of a robot equipped with a chainsaw to give an example of what he thought the competitor robots should look like.



Matilda's chainsaw being tested prior to Series 1

As its name implies, a chainsaw is a long saw with a chain driven around it in an elliptical pattern. The chain is lined with several sharp teeth, which are intended to cut through robots' armour and aerials in the hope of damaging and immobilising them. Chainsaws are typically cannibalised from existing chainsaw tools, used by lumberjacks and wood-cutters to cut down trees and shrubs.

Chainsaws can be mounted horizontally or vertically, and are either petrol/gas or electric-driven. They were often mounted on a servo motor, enabling them to move up and down in the hope of reaching down to lower-bodied robots or penetrating further into their bodyshells. The original Matilda was particularly famous for performing this action during her appearances with this weapon.

Advantages and DisadvantagesEdit


Spin Doctor

Rear view of Spin Doctor, showing its chainsaw


Matilda slices through one of Broot's wheels

  • In earlier series of Robot Wars, chainsaws were fairly common because they could be purchased pre-assembled and require minimal modifications, unlike most other weapons.
  • Because of their ready-made nature, they could easily be added to a robot without making too many compromises to its design. Spin Doctor's weapon in particular was mounted in such a way that it did not affect its multi-sided, thwackbot-esque design.
  • They were particularly effective against wood, such was their origins as wood-cutting tools. Most notably, Matilda's chainsaw was able to cut through SAT'arn's armour and Broot's armour with ease in Series 1 and 2 respectively. They could also be reasonably effective against plastic armour, which was the primary reason for Coyote being equipped with one.
  • As with cutting discs, they were also effective at cutting through exposed aerials. Matilda once sliced through Skarab's radio control mast during its Series 1 Heat Final against T.R.A.C.I.E., disabling its hammer weapon in doing so.


Chainsaw lock up

Matilda's chainsaw cut through SAT'arn easily, but locked up as soon as it touched The Demolisher

  • Because they were designed to cut through wood, chainsaws are very ineffective against metal armour, causing scratches at best and often locking up upon contact. Matilda's chainsaw notably locked up after touching The Demolisher in Series 1, and was replaced with an interchangeable vertical flywheel from Series 5 onwards after the chainsaw became increasingly less effective with every successive series.
  • Unlike most other weapons, chainsaws typically had to be built into a robot rather than custom made like discs and drills. This led to non-secure placement of the weapon and low prospects of repair, as seen by Napalm and Coyote's chainsaws being discarded after getting damaged by Sir Killalot and Apollo respectively.Leighviathan's weapon was also bent after getting caught by one of Dead Metal's spikes during its Series 2 battle against Mace.

List of Robots with ChainsawsEdit

Coyote 10


Inquisitor s2



Matilda with the chainsaw equipped

Rocky bot boa

Rocky-Bot-Boa, with its chainsaw fully protected

Terminal ferocity

Terminal Ferocity

Robots are listed alphabetically. House Robots are listed with a yellow background.

Robot Series Appearances with Chainsaws Notes
Coyote Series 9-10 Rear-mounted, spins at 3,000rpm, and can move up and down. First UK competitor to use a chainsaw since Series 4. Removed after each of its Heat Group Battles.
Death Warmed Up Series 3
Inquisitor Series 2 Horizontally-mounted. Chainsaw broke and was removed before competing.
Leighviathan Series 2
Matilda Series 1-4, US Season 2, Nickelodeon First robot of any kind to use a chainsaw weapon in Robot Wars. Was replaced with a vertical flywheel for Series 5/Extreme 1 onwards, and made interchangeable with the latter in Robot Wars: Extreme Warriors and Nickelodeon Robot Wars.
Max Damage Series 3
Napalm Series 2 A pair of rear mandibles were used to activate the 16-inch chainsaw. First competitor to use a chainsaw, but the weapon fell out during its Gauntlet run and was never replaced.
Overkill Series 3 Part of the robot's wedge, with the chain travelling inside and then out of the robot.
Raizer Blade Series 3 Interchangeable with a rear bludgeoning spike, discarded for Series 4.
Rocky-Bot-Boa US Season 2 US Season 2 Grand Finalist and Tag Team Terror Champion, paired with Black Widow. Chainsaw was mounted horizontally and saw little usage.
Scorpion Series 4 Last robot in the original UK Series to use a chainsaw.
Spin Doctor Series 2 Horizontally-mounted. Relied more on its sit-and-spin tactics.
Terminal Ferocity Series 3 Petrol-driven, mounted on a rotating turret and combined with a pneumatic lifter.
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